Episode 187: The Real Life Behind-the-Scenes of an Agency with Kate Ahl
One of the most popular ways to scale a service business is by creating an agency, but there are a lot of things that can get overlooked along the way. While I’m always happy to share my experiences with you, I wanted to bring a real-life look at how successful agency owners are really doing it. In this episode, we’re going behind-the-scenes of Simple Pin Media with its owner Kate Ahl.
I’ve been aware of Kate and Simple Pin Media for a long time, but over the last year, I’ve learned more and more about her business through mutual friends, and I gotta say, I’m sort of obsessed with how she’s built her team and how they serve over 100 clients. After getting connected with Kate on Instagram a couple of months ago, I knew she was the perfect person to talk about how she went from accidental business owner to where she is today.
Here’s What We Discussed:
- Kate told us about her business and how she makes money.
- How she went from starting a business offering Pinterest services to where she is today.
- How her team is structured and how that has evolved over time.
- How Kate spends her time as the leader and CEO of the business.
- Some of her biggest challenges as she’s grown an agency.
- What her biggest lesson has been about running an agency so far.
- What she would tell anyone who wants to start moving towards an agency model.
- What’s next for Simple Pin Media.
Kate Ahl is the owner and founder of Simple Pin Media, a Pinterest management company. They help their clients focus back on their business by taking over all aspects of Pinterest marketing. After working with over 600 Pinterest accounts, they have learned how to pin for all types of companies and niches. Kate has taught tens of thousands about Pinterest marketing through various speaking engagements and her podcast, the Simple Pin Podcast. She aims to teach simple, actionable tips to help you create forward movement in your business instead of feeling overwhelmed.
Three Lessons from Kate:
- You Own the Business — It Doesn’t Own You. Kate shared how from the start she set out to design her business in a way that meant ensuring she was able to stay in her zone of genius. She aimed to build a team that would take on the jobs that Kate didn’t want to be doing over time, such as managing Pinterest profiles.
- Your Culture Matters. When we step up and start leading a team, many times we’re not focused on the work environment we’re creating. It’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re focused on serving clients, but Kate shared how she built a leadership team that would help share the vision, and they set the pace for how things are done. Plus, they’ve created a culture that’s supportive and proactive, and Kate’s employee retention really shows how this culture facilitates business growth.
- Let Your Team Fly. While I loved so much of this conversation with Kate, I really identified with what she shared about getting out of the way, as many times when she steps back in, she makes a mess. Her take was that to truly grow, you need to let your team fly, which means not micromanaging and getting okay with letting your team fail.